ripped off – an angry post

I am angry, in case you haven’t guessed it.

On Wednesday afternoon I lost my wallet and some lowlife found it and went on a shopping spree using my cards.

How did they do that without my PIN? Paypass and Paywave of course! This nifty newest convenient way to shop! Now, for purchases under $100 you don’t need a pin! You just tap and go!

The problem is that ANYONE can tap and go with your card! And to the scum of the earth like the people who found my card, this was wonderful. All they had to do was make sure they visited as many shops as possible in the shortest time possible (before I realised my wallet was missing) and make as many purchases under $100 as they could.

I left work at 3pm on Wednesday as I had a meeting to go to. On the way I stopped at the house of an old guy who sells plants in his driveway, just around the corner from work. I’d been by in the morning and had him set aside a ton of plants for me.

I parked the car, picked up the bags of pots, paid him and put the pots in the car, leaving my wallet on the car and forgetting it there as I drove off.

I’ve never done something this stupid before.

I was at the meeting by 3.20pm.

By 3.20pm the lowlife scum had already found my cards and started their shopping spree.

First they visited Woolworths where they made 4 transactions on the one card. Then they had lunch at Banjos. Then the bottle shop for booze, and the gas station for fuel.

From there they went into the city center and visited Target, Jetty Surf, Red Herring among other places and made multiple purchases on both cards.

Then they went to Moonah to another bottle shop and Harris Scarfe.

From there to Glenorchy to another bottle shop (all up over $200 worth of booze), the shopping center where they made multiple purchases in many shops.

Their last stop was the Bridgewater McDonalds where their $66 dinner purchase was declined.

All in all, in three hours they visited 20 or so shops and, between my Mastercard and my Visa, they got over $1000 worth of stuff.

Not bad for THREE HOURS work.

And all in transactions under $100 each.

I think that surely, if I was a shop assistant and saw someone using the same card for multiple small transactions, warning bells would go off. And my credit card is bright orange, not a common card at all. It stands out. I read a forum on this subject and found comments from people who work in shops where they’ve suspected something was up – in most cases they just let the suspects pay and leave without notifying the police or bank.

While this was going on, I had no idea my wallet was even missing. I had my meeting, then drove home, stopping at a friend’s for a visit. I heard my phone beep, saw a message to call BankWest but planned to call when I got home. When I got home I fed the animals, mowed the lawn and totally forgot about the message.

In the morning I remembered and called them – getting online at the same time to find $500 worth of transactions I had not made. That’s when I realised I couldn’t find my wallet. First thought was that I’d forgotten it at the plant man’s place, but later on I remembered putting it on the car.

I immediately called Bank West and cancelled the Mastercard. They had suspended it by then, however not before $736.63 worth of transactions had gone through.

I was angry, upset, disbelieving, violated. Maybe its cause I’m honest and honest people just don’t think like that… we can’t see ourselves doing something like that so we’re surprised when others do.

I had a playdate for Romeo with a couple of other poodle friends but I stopped at the police station to report the lost wallet/stolen wallet. After all, the wallet contained everything! They said that since the cards had been used it wasn’t just a matter of reporting a missing wallet, it was fraud. However, without transaction details they couldn’t make a report.

It wasn’t till I was at the playdate and said to my friends “at least they can’t use my debit card and access my savings account without my PIN” that I realised they COULD.

And did.

Cause of course my debit card is also a VISA card and it has paywave.

So on the phone National Australia Bank. I wanted to know if they’d used that card. Without being able to answer the security question (what automatic deductions do you have on this account – I knew I had one but couldn’t remember what) they wouldn’t give me any information. Even when I could tell them exactly what my last purchases were prior to losing it, and what payments went in there regularly… Cause I may have been the person who’d stolen the card.

Like the person who stole the card would care about anything other than a balance! Just a simple Yes or No answer was all I wanted.

I was in the city without access to the internet so I went to a friend’s house and logged on to internet banking… . About 10 transactions on that account, approx $250 at that stage. I printed them out for the police.

I couldn’t print out the Mastercard transactions cause they’d closed that account already. Bank West sent me a list. This list had transactions on it that hadn’t been on my online banking in the morning.

They visited 20 or so places and made over $1000 in purchases… All because they could use Paywave and Paypass without a PIN.

(I keep saying ‘over $1000’ cause I’m not sure of the exact amount.)

When I asked the bank to give me a card without the tap and go feature I was told that no one makes credit cards without it any more and it cannot be disabled.

At least with National Australia Bank I was able to get them to issue me a plain debit card, not a VISA, as my replacement card… no chip, no paywave.

Everyone says “hey, you’ll get it all back, the fraud protection on the cards will cover it”. That may be so… but if they’d had to use a PIN this wouldn’t have happened at all. I wouldn’t have to wait 4-6 weeks for my money to be refunded.

I’m angry. I work for my money. I have 3 jobs. It was very hard for me to save to the point where I actually had some money in my savings account and I’d paid out my credit card. Now I wish I hadn’t bothered! If there was no money in my account and my credit card was still maxed out, they wouldn’t have been able to go shopping with my money!

Not long ago credit cards here went from signature to requiring a PIN. I thought that was a great step in security.

Then they bring this in. I just don’t see how this can be more secure.

I’ve done a ton of reading and its all about how fast and convenient this new system is, how much faster and easier we can now spend our money, how its much safer cause no one can scan your card when its in your bag, or duplicate your magnetic strip… That the new chip technology gives each transaction its own unique number or some such, giving the new cards an ‘added layer of security’.

Like this:

What about security?

Although you can make a contactless payment with up to 4cm reach, most credit card companies require you to tap your credit card for the transaction to go through, ensuring you don’t pay for another person’s sale. Even if you do accidentally tap your credit card twice on the terminal, you won’t be charged because every transaction generates a unique authentication code which cannot be used again.
The wireless technology can be concerning because no pin or signature is needed for a sale to be processed. Not to fret – all NFC cards use the latest chip technology, which come with secure encryption (cryptographic key) technology to protect you from thieves who might try to ‘scan’ the wallet in your pocket.
There’s not much stopping a thief from hitting up the shopping centre with purchases under $100 at different outlets but as with other payment methods (e.g pin, signature), most credit cards provide a zero liability policy. This means that you will be covered for any unauthorised transactions, with 100% reimbursement. Some providers state that you must notify the institution immediately in order to get your money back.

Source

Now have a look at this article by the Financial Obudsman Service… particularly look at this line which baffles me:

A customer can only be held liable for unauthorised contactless transactions if:
1. Their card was misused, lost or stolen. 
2. They knew that their card was misused, lost or stolen.
3. They took an unreasonably long time to tell the card issuer about the misuse,
loss or theft of the card.

HUH?… how else would there be any unauthorized transactions on your card if it wasn’t misused, lost or stolen????

If you’re not tired of reading, most articles about this flashy tap and go system are upbeat and positive, like this one. Some, like this one, are a bit more balanced as they include the cons, but again, its more about the positives.

Personally, having just been through this violation, I fail to see the positives.

I fail to see how not having a PIN is in any way a more secure way to do things.We should have the chip and a PIN, which is how I use my cards. That’d make sense.

Maybe we just need to be given the choice on if we want our cards to have a tap and go option.

Maybe banks should let people make up their own minds and let them enable or disable tap and go, even it must be available on their card.

I’d like it disabled on my cards please. I know a lot of people would like that too.

I should have replacement cards in a week or so and my ‘dispute’ should be resolved (favourably I should hope) in 4-6 weeks. Till then I just have the fun part of replacing my driver’s license, library card, membership cards, health insurance card, medicare card, etc.

z

2 thoughts on “ripped off – an angry post

  1. Oh, Zefi, I feel for you. I can't believe that it was so easy for someone else to use your card. Convenience? Poo! The bank doesn't believe that people use cards that aren't theirs? I lost my wallet years ago. At that time, no one could use my credit cards, but replacing all of those bits and pieces was a pain. My father's obituary was in there, and that couldn't be replaced. Now, I carry only what I use often. Driver's license, one credit card (we use it for everything)…oh, gosh, I know there's more, but it's in the other room. I can't believe they did that much damage in so little time. I hope the police are able to find the criminals and prosecute them. It's amazing that they hit so many stores in so little time. I suppose with a credit card that is made to get you in and get you out it wouldn't be that difficult. My thoughts are with you as you try to pull your life back together.

    Like

  2. Since this happened I've learned a few interesting things:
    1. since people can use tap and go so easily (and there's no pain in handing over plastic) they tend to spend more
    2. since tap and go goes through instantly and the bank isn't 'checked' every single transaction, it will allow people to overdraw on their account – which will earn them a fine. Either way the banks make money.
    3. there is a way to limit the damage… apparently most banks are offering some kind of account thing where you can have a savings account without a card attached to it, then have another account which you transfer money into (its instant, no watiting) which is attached to a card so you can shop… there is apparently a smartphone app for this account so you can transfer money into the card account. A friend of mine has this set up so there is never more than $200 in this card account, that way even if some scum gets his card he wont lose more than $200.

    Like

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